3 days ago
Often times when people think of creole people they automatically think of louisiana creoles, but there’s other creole people in the united states. in coastal south carolina, there are the gullah people, and in coastal georgia the geechies. the gullah are said to be descended from the gola people of angola. they developed a creole language called “gullah”historically, the gullah region extended from the cape fear area on north carolina's coast south to the vicinity of jacksonville on florida's coast. today, the gullah area is confined to the georgia and south carolina lowcountry. the geechies are from the gidzi people of sierra leone. they developed a creole language called “geechie” which may be derived from the name of the ogeechee river near savannah, georgia. gullah is a term that was originally used to designate the creole dialect of english spoken by gullah and geechie people. over time, its speakers have used this term to formally refer to their creole language and distinctive ethnic identity as a people. the georgia communities are distinguished by identifying as either "freshwater geechee" or "saltwater geechee", depending on whether they live on the mainland or the sea islands.
how did these creole people originate in these areas? in 1732 georgias primary purposes was of settling impoverished british citizens and creating a system that would supply england with needed agricultural products. the colony enacted a 1735 antislavery law, but that prohibition was lifted in 1750. they were in need of people that would be able to cope with the climatic conditions found in the south so they went to west africa for salves. and, as the growing wealth of south carolina's rice economy demonstrated, slaves were far more profitable than any other form of labor available to the colonists. they also grew indigo and cotton. the famous fanner baskets and sweetgrass baskets started with the gullah and geechie people by the enslaved rice growers from west africa who brought with them knowledge of how to make tools needed for rice harvesting, including fanner baskets for winnowing rice.